Emergency Radio FRS/GMRS/MURS

November 20, 2015

in Tools

Radio bands that don’t require licensing are available in the FRS/GMRS/MURS frequency ranges. Inexpensive handheld “walkie-talkie” transceivers are available for these radio bands and many 2-meter shortwave handhelds are also usable in these ranges. Some of the GMRS bands require licensing and the use of call signs and all of these bands have power restrictions on them. The advertised ranges possible with the cheap FRS/GMRS sets are usually overstated to represent extremely ideal conditions. Realistic ranges for these radios are often only a few miles. We should all test these ranges in the operating environment we intend to use.

MURS/FRS/GMRS RADIO: the new “CB Bands” – [captainswoop.com]

A nutshell guide to the Multi-Use radio Service (MURS), Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) systems
Recent changes in FCC regulations have opened up a huge variety of choices for consumers wishing to operate personal radio systems for business use, hobbies, or just plain fun. This niche used to be filled to a large extent by the old CB radio band and GMRS, which still exist but have been largely usurped by the new upstarts in the radio world. Both CB and GMRs still have some very definite merits of their own, but the new radio bands opened up in the VHF and UHF regions have far surpassed them in the popularity category. Communications in these bands have their pluses & minuses over CB and GMRS, and if you are making a choice between them, here are some points to consider:

FRS/GMRS combined channel chart – [radioreference.com]

FRS/GMRS Channels
Channel numbers commonly used on 22 channel FRS/GMRS dual service radios. Most radios of this type are not capable of repeater operation and do not include the repeater input frequencies.

Multi-Use Radio Service – [radioreference.com]

The Multi-Use Radio Service, or MURS, is a low power, short range, unlicensed personal radio service in the 150 MHz band.
MURS is intended for short-range local voice or data communications. Antenna height is limited to 20 feet above structure or 60 feet above ground, whichever is the greater. Very narrow bandwidth transmissions (maximum 11.25 kHz channel bandwidth, with +/- 2.5 kHz deviation) are permissible on all five MURS channels. The older +/- 5 kHz deviation signals (with a maximum 20 kHz channel bandwidth) are also permitted (but not required) on the two upper channels (in the 154 MHz band).

The Best Kept Secret in Radio Communication

License free, low cost, two-way communication. What’s not to love about MURS? MURS stands for Multi User Radio Service, and is one of the best kept secrets in personal and family radio communications.

Formerly available only for business communications, the FCC has kept five MURS frequencies license-free and open for public use since 2000. Handheld radios broadcasting on MURS frequencies can experience a range of two miles to eight miles depending on terrain and obstructions, while MURS Base Stations can reach up to 20 miles.

The stipulations for MURS use provided by the FCC restrict any transmitter in excess of two watts, but any type of antenna is allowed as long as the tower height (with antenna) is no greater than 60 feet high. All communications must also yield to any emergency communication on the same channel.

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